Understanding Broadband Infrastructure Development in Remote and Rural Communities – a Staged and Reflexive Approach

April 2014

Access to broadband telecommunication infrastructure is important for both urban and rural areas. In urban areas market forces ensures access to service providers. In many rural and remote areas this is not the case. Local actors need to initiate the development of the infrastructure. This paper contributes to the development of a staged model for infrastructure development. We explore how local stakeholders have initiated and sustained the development of broadband access in rural and remote areas of Norway.

Our conclusion is that the model is relevant in a Norwegian context. However we see the need to extend and strengthen it with elements of local reflexive processes taking context, feedback, learning, and global change forces into account. In initiating a timely development to meet local needs it is important to have a staged reflexive approach.  Such a model provides a path of development that allows local and regional initiatives to aggregate and grow.